Melanie Branton




Overwhelming Catastrophic Dread

Did I shut the door?
Did I shut the door?

I am the gatekeeper,
shaman, celebrant,
I avert apocalypse
fifty times a day.

Did I shut the door?

Rubber-gloved soothsayer,
I divine strange dooms
in the pattern of dogs’ mess
on the pavement.

Did I shut the door?

I know a thousand subtle poisons –
shoelaces, dishcloths, newspapers, chopping boards,
the careless brush of strangers’ hands.
Jacobean in their cunning,
their venom is touchborne, airborne, thoughtborne.
They murder by metonymy.

I wield the potency of numbers:
the amulet of washing three times,
the blessing of counting light switches,
the depthless curse of finishing the sudoku on a nine.

Pandemonium hovers on my threshold.

Did I shut the door?




Melanie Branton was born in Exeter. She has taught English and Drama in London and in Lodz, Poland, but now lives in North Somerset. Her work has been accepted by South, Light and LightenUp Online.

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